MADCAPS was established on May 24, 1960, when a group of 27 mothers met to consider an invitation to form a San Diego Chapter of the National Charity League, which sponsors Ticktockers. They decided not to affiliate with this group and voted to form an organization of their own. They met again in June to decide on a name and voted from a selection of Madreninas, Madrigals, Merry Teeners, Mu Delta Phi and MADCAPS. On September 17, 1960, MADCAPS made its debut at a tea for fifty charter members and their 46 daughters. In those days, even the daughters wore gloves to such functions. In the spring of 1961, MADCAPS attracted the attention of another national group, the Assistance League. After much discussion, the senior membership voted not to join this group and continued to develop their own unique mother-daughter organization.
The first fashion show was held in March, 1961, at the Stardust Hotel. It was titled “Springtime for Teens” and raised $529, which was presented to the Child Guidance Clinic. From 1961 through 1973, Don Heller’s, a store in Ocean Beach, provided the fashions. All of the girls modeled, and some years even the mothers modeled. The fashion show was a dessert luncheon affair, and the fashions were interspersed with skits. Some of the themes were “Madcappers Tea Party”, “Our Fair Ladies”, and the “10 Birthday Party”. The shows were held at the U.S. Grant Hotel, Hotel del Coronado, House of Hospitality, Thursday Club, and Scottish Rite Memorial Center. As the show grew, so did the audience, necessitating a move to USD’s Camino Theater. Other venues included the California Theater and the East County Performing Arts Center. In 1986, the show moved to Correia Middle School where it became primarily a dance show. In 2015, a larger venue was needed, and the show found a new home at Point Loma Nazarene University Brown Chapel.
For many years, each class chose a philanthropy group to support. The groups varied from children to senior citizens to the disabled. In 1985, it was decided to set up a program that would enable the girls to assist various groups at least once during their six years in MADCAPS. Our current focus areas are: 7th grade (community service); 8th grade (children); 9th grade (individuals with disabilities); 10th grade (drug, substance, emotional and physical abuse); 11th grade (cultural and community events); and 12th grade (a choice of any of the previous). Since 1960, MADCAPS has raised over $830,000 for distribution to many different philanthropies in the San Diego community and contributed hundreds of thousands of hours in volunteer time to these same philanthropies.
Click on the MADCAPS Mission and Strategy for further information on our organization!
MADCAPS History last updated in 2016